After studying both ceramics and sculpture in Barcelona, Fernando Casasempere returned to his birthplace, Santiago, where he consolidated his studies by working as a ceramics sculptor. After exhibiting extensively, both in Chile and North America, his work began to feature in exhibitions overseas. He then moved to London in 1997, bringing with him over twelve tonnes of his own mixtures of clay, a feat confirming his long-standing obsession with identity and his deep-seated concern for the environment. The Chilean landscape and Pre-Colombian background of the Latin world are ever present in his sculptures and his most recent works combine these influences with the cityscapes and inspirations that London has offered him. His seven-metre long installation for the New Art Centre, 'Back to the Earth', 2005, examines the artist's interest in ecology and geology and consists of individual ceramic elements that jut out of the earth, exposing its inner core. These stoneware and porcelain forms can be reconfigured for a different site.
Casasempere's ceramic forms are often inspired by the effects of machines and mass production on the environment and modern society. His exhibition at Roche Court in 2011, Bricks and Mortar, comprised a series of large works sited in the Walled Garden, laying on the grass and beneath trees, they appeared like discarded waste products from an unknown industrial process.
In 2012, Fernando Casasempere created a monumental field of ceramic and steel flowers in the courtyard of Somerset House, called 'Out of Sync', this extraordinary work has now been installed in his native Chile (text: www.fernandocasasempere.com).
Images: Fernando Casasempere, portrait 2012, photo Corinne Silva (source The world in London.org-uk); Portrait (source website artist); object (source Diario y Radio Uchile); Installation (source website artist).
Casasempere's ceramics are monumental and timeless. To create his highly sculptural forms Fernando mixes clay with recycled materials - by-products from heavy manufacturing processes. This unusual material produces an earthy, textural organic patina resulting in objects that appear to be plucked from nature. As noted by the art critic Edmund de Waal recently wrote, 'With these new pieces Casasempere has extended scale: they are at the limits of what can be achieved with clay. But their triumph is that they look effortless. These new pieces do not sit still. They lean as if into the wind, as if battered by a natural force' (Text: Galerie Carla Koch).